Friday, November 23, 2018

Book Review: Books Can Be Deceiving by Jenn McKinlay (Library Lover's Mysteries #1)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Fun characters, great mystery
Cons: Set up slows down mystery at the beginning, but a minor point overall
The Bottom Line:
Library setting
With the best friend as suspect
Fun series debut

In Which I Finally Start Jenn McKinlay's Library Lover's Series

By the time I finally started reading Jenn McKinlay's books, she was starting her third cozy mystery series.  And, while I got up to date on the Hat Shop Mysteries and the Cupcake Bakery Mysteries, I never even started the Library Lovers Mysteries.  It wasn't that they didn't appeal to me; it was just a matter of other books calling to me a little bit louder.  But I decided it was time to fix that, so I bumped Books Can Be Deceiving to the top of my to be read mountain range.

This book takes us to the tiny community of Briar Creek, Connecticut, where Lindsey Norris has become the director of the public library.  She's only been on the job six months, but she's beginning to settle into it and her new community.  One of the joys of the job is being able to work alongside her best friend, Beth Stanley, who is the children's librarian.

Beth has been in the area longer, and has been dating picture book author Rick Eckman for several years.  Lindsey doesn't see the attraction at all, so when Beth breaks up with him, she is quite happy for her friend.  However, Beth gets some surprising news about Rick the next day just before she finds his body.  The police quickly make Beth their prime suspect.  Lindsey knows her friend isn't a killer, but can she prove it before Beth is arrested?

Since I'm already familiar with Jenn's books, I pretty much knew what to expect when I picked this one up even though it is a series debut.  First, I was expecting a strong group of friends, and that's what I got here.  Lindsey might have only been in town for a few months when the book opens, but she is already feeling at home and recognizing the bonds she is making.  I loved this cast, and I can't wait to spend more time with them.

In fact, the whole setting is charming.  The library is one I would love to visit, and Briar Creek is one the beach.  Honestly, I'm ready to up and move there myself.  On the other hand, the murder rate looks to be pretty high, so maybe I should stay away after all.

The book was a tad slow to get started, but much of that time was being used to set up the characters and location for this new series.  Since I already felt so much at home, I really didn't mind.  Once the plot gets started, we are treated to a winning mystery with several good twists along the way.  The climax was wonderful as well.

Another trademark of Jenn's books is the humor.  No, this might not be a laugh a minute book, but there are some moments that made me laugh.  And I wanted to cheer at the climax.

Not only do we get a great mystery, but there are plenty of extras.  We get information about starting a crafternoon club.  Not sure what that is?  You'll have to read the book to find out.  There are also discussion questions from The Last Time I Saw Paris by Lynn Sheene, which is mentioned several times in the book, a knitting pattern, and two recipes.

I don't need any new series to read.  In fact, it would be nice if I could get caught up on some of the series I've already started.  But I don't regret picking up Books Can Be Deceiving for a minute.  I'm looking forward to stopping by my new favorite library again soon.

If you are looking for more mysteries to check out, here are the rest of the Library Lover's Mysteries in order.

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